Contemporary Collections: Preprints from the AICCM National Conference 17th g 19th October 2007 Brisbane pp. 233
The Australian War Memorial holds a diverse collection of food products, from the Boer War to recent peacekeeping missions, including cans of bully beef, Queen Victoria chocolate gift tins with original contents, prisoner rations from Changi, and ration packs from Vietnam and Afghanistan. Deterioration of both the food and the various packaging materials have been investigated with the aim of identifying long term preservation issues including determining whether present storage conditions are appropriate and identifying biohazards that pose a risk to staff and the collection. In consultation with curatorial staff, a set of protocols is being developed to ensure preservation of the materials that will address the suitability for retention or disposal of contents and packaging based on significance, degree of deterioration and possible health hazards to staff.